IN A setback to Mayawati, all six BSP MLAs in Rajasthan have defected to the ruling Congress, a move dubbed by the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister as a “betrayal.” The development comes ahead of civic body polls and bypolls for two Assembly seats in Rajasthan and has increased the tally of the Congress in the 200-member Assembly to 106.
The House has an effective strength of 198 as two seats are vacant. Hitting out at the Ashok Gehlot Government, BSP President Mayawati said the Congress has once again proved that it is “unreliable” and “untrustworthy.” MLAs Rajendra Singh Gudha, Jogendra Singh Awana, Wajib Ali, Lakhan Singh Meena, Sandeep Yadav and Deepchand met Assembly Speaker CP Joshi on Monday night and handed over a letter to him stating their decision to join the Congress. BSP legislators were earlier supporting the Ashok Gehlot Government from outside and were in constant touch with the Chief Minister.
“All of us decided to join the Congress to strengthen the Government in the interest of the State. We first met the Chief Minister and later gave a letter about our decision to the Assembly Speaker,” one of the MLAs, Joginder Singh Awana, told reporters here on Tuesday. Mayawati termed the move as a “betrayal.” “The Congress Government in Rajasthan has once again broken BSP MLAs and proved that it is an unreliable and untrustworthy party,” she said in a tweet. “The Congress, instead of fighting against its bitter opponents and organisations always work to harm those parties which cooperate/support them,” Mayawati said in another tweet.